Couch-bound…

Keep your icy feet away from me, Mr. Freezey. ~ Akbar… or Jeff… I get those two guys mixed up

Seriously, my feet are like bricks of ice. Gotta get that situation fixed pronto. Rach, go boil some water or something…

Well, today I just feel like going for a run. But it is supposed to be my rest day and realistically, I need the rest, so run I will not. I may just kick the new cat around a little and hope that the impact doesn’t shatter my feet.

It was pretty nippy up here last night. 3° to be exact. Which, as defined by Webebster* is nippy. So that makes 3 + 8 = horseshoe. Math… who gets that stuff?

So instead of a thrill-a-minute, action-packed tome about tromping around the woods for 17 hours, today, I’ll pick something to review and well… review it, for your reading pleasure. See, I got your back.**

Today’s review: The Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover – Mmmmmmmm Pufffy

My new favorite garment of the year is the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover. That is a lot of words but there is some serious alliteration in there so we can forgive them. It is not only fun to say, but fun to wear and has kept me toasty warm in a wide range of conditions. This awesome jacket proves that good things DO come in small packages as it is amazingly lightweight, packs down to a tiny, easy-to-store bundle, and keeps you warm and dry even when wet. This is the advantage to Patagonia’s PrimaLoft One insulation over Down – well, that and no birds are harmed – and it gets the stubert seal of approval. The outer shell is even made from recycled material so that makes, like, three thumbs up which means I need to go out and find a third thumb somewhere. Where’s Walter Sobchak when you need him?

Just yesterday, I was removing a foot and a half of snow from our driveway and, as I am known to do, misjudged the wind direction a bit with the snowblower resulting in a seriously coated Stu. No problem for the Nano Puff… I stayed toasty warm. It’s like wearing some sort of magical anti-coldness cloak. Now, if I could only get them to make one for my feet…

~stubert.

*Webebster is a completely fictional reference book made up by the author to cement a punchline. I cheat. Sue me. Webebster did.

**Yes, though occasionally I misspell “contemplate”, I am not a complete moron and do know that “I got your back” is not correct grammar. Punctuation and where commas and shit go when tossing quotes into sentences, I really need to brush up on that but right now I am in the zone and as I discovered when I startled our cat one time while he was playing with a piece of tinfoil or something, you should never disturb someone who is in the zone… particularly when your nose is within clawing distance.

GoLite HydroSpeed pack review…

So much time, so little to do. ~ Willie Wonka

And on the second day, Stu rested. Mondays are typically my rest days so I just kicked it today. I did head to the gym for some circuits but other than that, I laid low. A little sore from yesterday’s adventure but I think most of this is from jumping in the car immediately after running and sitting at a desk most of today. Gotta knock that off.

So in lieu of a long, boring talk about lifting weights, I thought I’d entertain you with a brief review of a hydration pack I have been using for a couple years: the GoLite Hydrospeed Lumbar Pack.

When I ran Leadville in ’07, I alternated between the GoLite Rush and a lumber pack that a buddy loaned me from Ultimate Direction. The UD pack suited me very well for cooler, shorter segments and I grabbed the Rush for the long, warm trek between Treeline and Twin Lakes and outbound over Hope Pass. Honestly, now I would go with the HydroSpeed and a handheld for every section unless it was blazingly hot (and even then, might opt for the lighter set-up regardless). This was what I used on Sunday’s 4-hour run and it was about perfect.

The HydroSpeed is a comfortable, lightweight lumbar pack that is designed to carry two bottles. The UD pack I mentioned earlier (no longer available) had a similar set up: Two bottles, two good-sized pockets and a secure bungee strap for a jacket, spare bottle or whatever else you might need to bring along. The HydroSpeed is even more awesome. GoLite (as you may have guessed) engineers their gear to be very lightweight without compromising comfort or stability and the HydroSpeed fits the bill nicely. The bottle sleeves are positioned well (when cinched-down as much as I like it, they make bottles easy to access but a little tough to remove) and the overall carriage is super comfy and easy to adjust. The dual pockets are perfect for carrying the necessities and I have crammed cool weather gear, food, camera, keys and an iPod in there without feeling overly burdened at all. The pack rides low on one’s hips and the buckle system is very easy to get adjusted to fit snugly without excess wobble.

The pack utilizes the lightest weight clips and buckles but they have held up very well through a LOT of abuse over the past two years. It even has an iPod headphone port and key clip. It does not feature a whistle buckle so if you live in kitty or bear country (or just for safety’s sake), you will want to pick up an emergency whistle to attach to the straps.

The pack weighs in at a scant 450g and retails at $50. This has been my go-to pack for two years now with my Rush relegated to only my longest, unsupported, no-access-to-water-type adventures.

~stubert.